Slow Down

For this month’s Cup of Coffee post, I’m talking about slowing down. In a culture where everything is instant and our to-do lists are endless, I challenge you to take some time each week to do something for yourself. Slowing down is necessary for our hearts and minds to be fully functioning.

Hello friends! It’s been a while since I have done a ‘cup of coffee’ post, and I apologize! Summer got away from me this year and the heat got to me. It is HOT in Texas. Now that fall is around the corner, I can sense structure coming back to our schedules and this makes me so glad. I know that the end of summer can be a relief for many because school starts again, but for teachers it is just the beginning of madness. I think for everyone, however, a shift in seasons is always welcome. So whether this month has meant chaos or order to you, I hope today’s post will speak to you and encourage you.

As I’m writing this, I just put Josie down for a nap, so the entire house is quiet. This is my only, small amount of time each day to myself. Most days I take advantage of naptime to do something like mop the floors or fold laundry (something that is more difficult when she is awake). But over the past few weeks I’ve realized that’s all I seem to do lately. I haven’t really done anything I want to do. So today I’m choosing to ignore my sticky kitchen floors and open up this journal to write. And can I tell you that it feels so nice to just stop and do something I enjoy. Why have I let days or even weeks go by without giving myself this small gift? I have been so concerned with keeping everything around me going that I have neglected myself. The price I’ve paid for it is weariness and a little frustration. And those around me deserve the best me, so in order to give them that I need to give myself something.

So,  this leads me to my question. When is the last time you slowed down to enjoy something specific to you? As a SAHM, some may argue that my whole day is slow. And maybe to an extent that is true. I’m on no-one’s schedule but my own. However, with a toddler I would argue that nothing works slowly around here. Every mom, whether working or staying home, is doing the best she can. When we start to compare it becomes sticky business. Every mom deserves me time and time to do something that is important to her. But slowing down doesn’t just apply to moms. Maybe you are married and you and your spouse’s lives are so busy right now you barely see each other. Maybe you aren’t married but you’re so preoccupied on building your future you’re neglecting the present. Whatever season you find yourself in, remind yourself that even Jesus rested and pointed out the importance of it.

I challenge you this week to step away from your phone and your schedule and find a time to slow down for you. This time can look different for different people. But the commonality between us is that we are our best self when we gift ourselves with rest. It isn’t selfish to take a mental break.

Ideas to help you slow down:

  • Take a hot bath
  • Go for a long walk
  • Eat dinner with your spouse with no phone/tv
  • Wake up a little early for a devotional
  • Stay up a little late to read that new book
  • Take a stroll through your favorite store
  • Say ‘no’ to one night of plans and stay in
  • Give yourself grace! You can’t do it all
  • Listen to a podcast

Friends, I hope you can find rest this week. We all lead very different, very busy lives. The truth is, we will always have someone or something demanding our attention. It is up to us to know our limits, be able to say no, and give ourselves healthy doses of rest. Maybe it isn’t realistic for you to be able to even enjoy a walk in the evening; instead pray for restful sleep. I believe that God wants each and every one of us to feel rested. No one can do it all. Give yourself grace today and re-write that to-do list for something more realistic.

 

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Former teacher turned stay-at-home mom! I live on a ranch with my husband, little girl, and all of our animals. You can usually find me with coffee and baby in hand.

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